The Walbridge Fire has not impacted Sonoma Water’s water supply facilities at this time. Tap water provided by Sonoma Water is safe to drink. There has been no impact to our system’s drinking water quality.
Sonoma Water employees are safely attending to our facilities to ensure water supply systems remain functional and continue to provide our community with ongoing, high quality drinking water. In fact, a group of Sonoma Water employees performed vegetation management around critical facilities to help firefighters if the Walbridge Fire reaches our facilities.
Regarding the fire's potential impacts to Lake Sonoma, we are monitoring and coordinating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on fire response. Read below about how Lake Sonoma is a critical water supply storage facility for our system.
We remain vigilant and are coordinating with the appropriate responding agencies including the CalFire and the County’s Office of Emergency Services. Our hearts are heavy for those of our community who have lost their homes, and we thank the tremendous efforts of our first responders. Please stay safe and follow official evacuation orders.
The Walbridge Fire has stabilized, weather conditions are favorable, and Sonoma Water’s water supply facilities are no longer in any immediate danger. As it has been throughout the fire emergency, our water is safe and we have experienced no issues with water quality or deliveries.
Therefore, we are lifting the Emergency Water Conservation Request that was issued at the beginning of the fires. Thank you to all our customers for saving water during the fire emergency. Your efforts are appreciated.
The response to the emergency conservation request was immediate and impressive. Together, we saved millions of gallons of water that allowed greater water storage for firefighting and emergency supplies.
But our water conservation efforts must continue. There is never enough water to waste. We have just had one of the driest rain years on record, and water conservation is something we can make part of our everyday lives.
For tips on how to save water both inside and outside of your home, please visit: www.savingwaterpartnership.org
Sonoma Water is working in collaboration with organizations throughout Sonoma County to protect our watersheds and water supply from adverse impacts due to the October 2017 wildfires. Sonoma Water staff are assisting in the regional effort to identify potential risks the fires have posed to our watersheds, and are taking actions to monitor and mitigate those risks.
Sonoma Water is working to ensure that Sonoma County residents continue to have a clean, reliable supply of drinking water. Fortunately, the fires minimally impacted the parts of the Russian River watershed which supply drinking water for Sonoma Water. Sonoma Water staff are working with a collaborative group of government agencies including the County of Sonoma, Resource Conservation Districts, and the City of Santa Rosa, and non-profits including the Sonoma Ecology Center to install wattles, sandbags, and other erosion control methods. Erosion control techniques prevent sediment and debris from entering waterways and storm drains.
To continually protect our water supply and monitor the effects of the fire on the environment, Sonoma Water has partnered with the North Coast Regional Water Control Board, United States Geological Survey, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to perform extensive water quality monitoring in waterways in and around burn areas.
Wildfires dramatically increase the risk of flash floods, mudflows, and debris flows by eliminating vegetation and other obstacles which slow runoff and promote infiltration of rainwater into the ground and altering the soil to repel water. These threats can be unpredictable, move quickly, and can carry boulders, trees, mud and debris at high speeds. The National Weather Service’s (NWS) general rule of thumb is that half an inch of rain in an hour can cause flash flooding in areas affected by fires.
In preparation for anticipated rains, Sonoma Water has partnered with the National Weather Service to monitor potential flood threats. The Early Warning Forecast and Response System will provide information to the National Weather Service, enhancing their ability to send out local advisories, alerts, and warnings to areas where fires have increased the risk of flash flooding, debris flows, and landslides.
This program will include the following:
View the Sonoma.OneRain.com website for an interactive map with live data from county-wide streamflow and rainfall gauges
Sonoma Water is committed to continuing to provide updated information about watershed fire recovery to the public. In order to inform the public about the severity of potential hazards resulting from impacts of fires and the coming rainy season, Sonoma Water is part of a group of agencies implementing a comprehensive outreach plan, including the following:
If you have any questions regarding ongoing communication, feel free to Contact Us and let us know.
For the most current information on the fires visit www.SoCoEmergency.org